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“ARE WE THERE YET?” – Top tips for keeping the kids happy from Europcar

With the school holidays on the horizon, families saving costs by staying in the UK this summer are preparing for the long road trip to their UK holiday destination. However, lack of space, car sickness and boredom can combine to make a nightmare journey for parents and kids alike. Europcar, the UK’s leading car hire provider, has therefore put together its top tips on keeping the kids happy, healthy and entertained in the car this summer.

Europcar’s Top Tips for Keeping the Kids Happy:
• Take some or all of the following: lots of snacks and drinks, wet wipes, CDs, paper and pens and pillows.
• Make sure small children are sitting high enough to see out of the window and that they are in suitable seating for their age. (Child seats are available to hire from all Europcar locations).
• Keep the car well-ventilated or hire a car with air conditioning. This will make children more comfortable and can help avoid travel sickness.
• Avoid heavy meals, particularly meals with a high fat content, before and during travel. Keep snacks and drinks plain and encourage children to sip water rather than gulp it.
• Create a travel journal or make a map of where you are going to keep children interested in the journey and the landmarks they will see along the way.
• Consider travelling overnight so children can sleep through the journey or time journeys to coincide with naps for younger children. Some families find an early morning start preferable. Allow the children to sleep for a few hours in the car and then stop for breakfast when they wake.
• Allow for plenty of time for the journey.
• Include frequent stops to let the kids run around and release some energy, maybe even stopping at points of interest – this also gives mum and dad a chance to share the driving.
• Hire a bigger vehicle so that everyone is comfortable if you have lots of luggage.
• If car-sickness is a problem, avoid hand-held computer games, otherwise they are a very good way to keep kids occupied. Don’t forget to bring extra batteries and to charge items such as mp3 players and games consoles.
• Audio books on CD can be engrossing for everyone and provide some respite for adults – consider classics like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Winnie the Pooh.
• Don’t forget old fashioned games like I-spy or word games.
• Give kids a backpack with their favourite toys and books, plus something new that will keep them quiet for a while longer.

Staycationers planning their summer breaks in the UK can make savings with Europcar’s ‘up to 50%’ discount deal. Whether it’s upgrading to something with more space for luggage and passengers or optional extras such as an additional driver and sat nav, car hire from Europcar ensures a comfortable, safe and stress-free journey for parents and children. In addition holidaymakers benefit from free delivery and collection, on hire over two days.

Catriona Lougher, Marketing Director for Europcar said: “Hire for holidays abroad is taken for granted, but there’s much to be gained from hiring at home as it really takes the hassle out of holiday preparations. No need to clean out the car, as Europcar’s vehicles come fully valeted. There are no worries about maintenance or roadside assistance, and with our new free delivery and collection service, weDeliver, you can get packed and going as soon as you are ready. Above all, it means less stress for mum and dad and more time to make sure all the ingredients for a harmonious journey are in place before you head off. “

To take advantage of Europcar’s ‘up to 50%’ discount deal, bookings must be placed by 30/07/09 for hire between 05/06/09 to 14/09/09. To book log on to www.europcar.co.uk

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